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Some people believe that even mentioning a curse is enough to give it life. And if you’re a sports fan, you’re probably already more superstitious than most people already. Are curses real, and, for that matter, are they permanent? The Cleveland sports curse is an oft-cited example, but today we are going to ask if one of America’s largest sports entertainment cities, Atlanta, is also suffering from what you would call a sports curse.
One of the largest sports markets in the United States, Atlanta, and the surrounding areas are home to several sports teams. Let’s take a look and see if there is a curse or not.
The Atlanta Sports Curse
1996 World Series Atlanta Braves vs NY Yankees Game 4
The wounds from this are still fresh to this day, even though the events took place all the way back in 1996. This loss by the Braves basically kicked off the New York Yankees’ World Series dynasty that endured throughout the late 1990s. The fact that it came from a rallying performance in game four against the Braves, a game that saw the Yankees make one of the biggest comebacks ever and go on to tie the series at two games apiece. The rest is history, and the Atlanta Braves haven’t won a game in the World Series since.
2012 SEC Title Game: Georgia vs. Alabama
32-28. That’s the final score that decided who would face Notre Dame in the championship. As any fan of SEC football could tell you, the premise was basically that whoever won would most likely become the national champion. This is because of the powerhouse teams that occupied the SEC during that season and the relatively untested Notre Dame squad having to compete with that. Alabama not only pulled off an SEC championship win but completely denied Notre Dame during the championship game. Georgia fans could only watch with envy, knowing that, had they won, they would likely be the national champions.
The Atlanta Dream Being Swept in the WNBA Finals (3 Times)
There is something to be said for consistent excellence. There is also something to be said for actualizing that feat but the Atlanta Dream has not been able to seal the deal as far as a WNBA championship is concerned. With no less than three failed attempts, no one questions whether the Dream is talented, but everyone wonders if it is ever going to become a reality.
The Atlanta Hawks Trading Dominque Wilkins for Danny Manning
This move still leaves some Hawks fans feeling raw. Arguably one of the most important players in franchise history, when the team decided to trade Dominique Wilkins, their leading scorer no less, for Danny Manning in what is still the only time in NBA history that a team has traded its leading scorer after the All-Star break. Let’s just say that the assessment of the trade then and with 20-20 hindsight has remained much the same without ragging on Danny Manning too much. The Hawks screwed themselves out of a franchise superstar and who knows what else.
The Infield Fly Rule Game: Atlanta Braves vs St Louis Cardinals on October 5th, 2012
The tragedy keeps compounding for the Braves. Imagine this: Bases are loaded, and the Braves look set to take home the win. But then the invoking of the infield fly rule leads to an automatic out and absolute chaos during one of the wildest Wild Card matches in baseball history. This ruling gave the Cardinals new life on the field, and they eventually secured their win, but not before fans made their displeasure with the ruling known by raining down trash on the field. Still a call that is debated to this day, some of us think it is another bit of proof that, yes, Atlanta does have a curse.
Super Bowl 51: Atlanta Falcons vs New England Patriots
It’s hard to talk about this game. What in the heck happened? If this isn’t evidence of a curse, there’s nothing out there that is. Or maybe this is an act of God? That’s probably the only person who could have helped Tom Brady and the company pull off this comeback win. This comeback is likely to go down in history as the greatest in football and any sport ever. And, man, was it humiliating. Let’s just say that every Atlanta fan in the country was having a moment after this game, and it wasn’t a precious one.
NLDS Game 5 Braves vs Cardinals Oct 9th, 2019
Another game for the curse log, the Cardinals zoomed into this matchup and scored no less than ten runs in the first inning of the game. That set the tone and the pace for what was to follow: A struggle session in which Atlanta drowned on live television in front of a national audience.
Mike Soroka Achilles Injury 2020 (Atlanta Braves)
The Braves can’t catch a break. If you need evidence of that from this year, look no further than Mike Soroka’s Achilles injury. 2020 is already weird enough as far as sports are concerned, but Atlanta’s curse apparently didn’t get the memo that everyone was taking some time off.
2018 College Football National Title Game (Georgia vs Alabama)
Once again, Georgia and Alabama face off in a high-stakes college football game, and, once again, Alabama snatches victory out of the hands of the Georgia team. Not only that, but Alabama did it in style. Taking the game into overtime, Alabama clinched the championship with no less than a 41-yard touchdown run to win 26-23.
Josef Martinex Injury (Atlanta United)
One of MLS’s most productive players on the field, Josef Martinez, suffered a season-ending injury earlier this year that sidelined him from the action and left Atlanta United looking for ways to cope.
If this doesn’t prove that the Atlanta sports curse is real, I’m not sure what will. Check out this dope shirt that I made. If you like it, grab your copy today.